Traveling can make it difficult to keep your mobile devices and private content secure from prying criminals. But as long as you prepare for your excursion, you can limit the threats to your security.
Start with these 7 security tips to remember when traveling.
Lock your Screen
If someone steals your mobile device, they can access all of the private information that you keep stored on the device. If you keep your passwords autosaved, they can even access everything you keep in the cloud – including bank accounts and digital wallets. An effective screen lock will prevent criminals from accessing your data.
When choosing a screen lock, look for the following options:
- Password or PIN options.
○ There are 10,000 combinations of just a 4-digit PIN, but go for longer when you can.
- Biometrics to confirm your identity.
○ Fingers are hard to copy.
- Ability to wipe the device after a set number of failed log-in attempts.
○ Especially useful for sensitive information. You can always restore to a new device using backups, so you don’t lose everything.
Losing your data may sound frightening, but it’s far better than letting someone else steal sensitive information.
Don’t Connect to Public Wi-Fi Networks
Public Wi-Fi networks jeopardize your security in several ways. When you connect to a public network, you run the risk of:
- Getting fooled by rogue hotspots that hackers set up to steal your information.
- Becoming the target of a man-in-the-middle attack that lets hackers steal information traveling between your device and the network.
These criminal tactics don’t require much knowledge. Even a fledgling hacker can use them to steal private data. If you can avoid it, never connect to public Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you’re putting your data at risk for theft.
But if You Do, Get a VPN Service
During your travels, you may run into a situation where you have to connect to a public Wi-Fi network. You can keep yourself and your device protected by using a virtual private network (VPN).
A VPN will encrypt all of the data that gets transferred between your device and the network. A criminal looking at the stream of information will only see a bunch of random letters and numbers.
VPNs can be expensive depending on their quality. However, they offer unparalleled security while you travel. Do not connect to a public network unless you have the protection of a reliable VPN service.
Keep Everything Up To Date
The internet is full of malware and viruses that can infect your device. Many sophisticated threats exist for the sole purpose of finding sensitive information to send back to criminals. Perhaps even worse, you may carry the malware back to your network after your trip.
Hackers are constantly searching for weaknesses in operating systems and apps. Since they’re always hard at work, you need updated antivirus software that knows how to spot the latest vulnerabilities and malware attempts.
You should also update all of your apps before you travel. The update may include a critical patch that prevents hackers from infiltrating your devices.
Leave Unnecessary Items at Home
The more things you carry while you travel, the easier it is for a thief to steal from you. Before leaving home, ask yourself whether you really need to bring things like:
- Your personal smartphone and your work phone.
- Laptop computers and tablets and eReaders.
- Documents like your work ID and driver’s license and passport.
If you don’t need an item, leave it at home.
Protect From Prying Eyes
The cybercriminals of the world don’t always rely on advanced malware and sci-fi level tactics to steal your data. Often times, the cause of a breach is someone simply shoulder surfing and looking at (or even video recording) your device as you input your username and password.
When on the go, be it at the airport, in the subway, or anywhere else, be aware of your surroundings and invest in privacy screens. These inexpensive screens stick onto your existing screen without causing any damage. They narrow the viewable field of vision by a large degree.
In short, if you’re not directly looking at the screen, you can’t see it. That stops people from taking a peek at your information when sitting they’re beside you.
Back Up Your Devices
No matter how many precautions you take, there’s always a chance that you will lose one of your devices while traveling. Back up your devices on an external hard drive or cloud account so you won’t lose the information.
Make sure you test your backups so you know that your information is safe and your passwords are securely protected.
KJ Knows Mobile Security
Contact KJ Technology for more details about keeping your information and devices safe while traveling. You can also learn about smart security measures that will benefit your business when you’re at the office.